AI-powered pricing and promotions add the most value to UK shoppers

With rapidly increasing use and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in their day-to-day lives, UK shoppers are increasingly expecting retailers to leverage AI to improve their buying journeys, the latest research from Intellias, the leading global retail technology partner, reveals.

Original research of over 1,000 UK shoppers by Intellias revealed that almost half (45%) of UK consumers already use Generative AI (GenAI) tools, such as ChatGTP, in their day-to-day lives, rising to 79% of Gen Z.  And this widespread and fast-growing adoption of GenAI is prompting consumers to recognise where they encounter AI within their buying journeys – with 42% of consumers are currently aware of retailers using AI in shopping experiences – and where they expect retailers to leverage AI capabilities to improve customer experiences.

With ongoing cost-of-living pressures continuing to encourage pricing- and promotions-sensitive shopping behaviour, AI applications in pricing and promotions topped where UK consumers felt AI added the most value in their online buying journeys.

Over a quarter (28%) of shoppers said AI-powered automated pricing and real-time promotions would enhance their customer experience, followed by AI use within loyalty schemes to deliver real-time personalised offers and rewards for 18% of those polled.

Top 5 areas where AI delivers the most value to UK consumers
  1. Pricing and promotions – 28%
  2. Loyalty – real-time personalised rewards – 18%
  3. = Product discovery when searching online – 17% and Product information (i.e. AI-generated descriptions) – 17%
  4. Product recommendations personalised by AI – 15%
  5. AI-powered chatbots – 14%

While 14% of UK consumers said AI-powered chatbots added value to their buying journeys, 25% said AI chatbots proved the most disruptive AI application in their shopping experiences, while a further 25% said those automated chat functions were among the most ‘clunky’ elements of AI they experienced when purchasing items.

With the speed at which GenAI has been adopted by retailers and consumers in 2023, perhaps it is inevitable that the pace has led to some wariness among shoppers, with 43% of those polled saying that they are mistrustful of brands and retailers using AI in their shopping experiences.  However, 61% said they didn’t mind retailers using AI in their buying journeys so long as they were transparent about it, rising to 66% of Gen Z, and a further 52% felt that, as long as they had a good experience with a retailer or brand, they didn’t mind if it involved AI or not.

Alexander Goncharuk, VP of Retail at Intellias, commented: “There’s little doubt that the hype curve surrounding GenAI will continue to accelerate as we look ahead to 2024.  And this will be driven both by the consumer, who will become even more used to AI interfaces in their day-to-day lives, and by the retailers innovating and exploring different use cases that drive efficiencies and enhance customer experience across the value chain.”

“Looking ahead, the key to delivering AI-powered value to the shopper will rely on transparency of use, and seamless and intuitive integration as part of the omnichannel shopping experience, as well as building out robust and secure compliance procedures in the back-end,” Goncharuk concluded.

To find out more about Intellias’ latest ‘GenAI in Retail’ report, which outlines a best-practice blueprint for retailers looking to strategise, pilot and launch successful GenAI programmes, download the report here: GenAI in Retail.

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